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My grandson, aged 3 1/2 loves balls.  He has loved balls since before he could talk, before he could walk.  In fact you could say he is obsessed with balls of every kind.  Big balls, blue balls, red balls, ping pong balls, bowling balls, gold balls, footballs volleyballs, basket balls, soccer balls, texture balls, squishy balls, paper balls (self made).  Of course he has a large extended family only too fond of feeding his obsession and so he has many multiples of each variety of balls.  My daughter has organized them into main floor balls, upstairs balls, basement balls, outside balls, car balls….because you know you can never be caught out with out a ball.

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This last week he has been extremely interested in the Olympics, he watches every chance he gets, asks questions constantly and even has discovered some sports that do not involve balls.  Then today when the track and field sports began he discovered a ball that he does not yet have.  He “suggested” to his mother that he needed to get a shot put ball.  She responded by saying that she didn’t know where to buy one.  He told her they could go to the nearest city to their home.  Oh don’t I know how challenging it is to have a child smarter than you and always with a ready answer to every objection.  My daughter was just like that.  So even though the poor boy won’t get a shot put ball, he will probably “practice” shot put with some other kinds of balls.  I suggested to my daughter that they might want to get extra glass coverage.  (Oh yes, this is a situation in which only a grandmother can delight….)

What is it that you have more than enough of and yet you still desire more?  What is it that you don’t yet have enough of and you desire more?

The list is different for each of us and probably includes things such as money, time, cars, friends, etc.  We can all think of something.  

Perhaps a better question is, what in your spiritual life don’t you have enough of?

Would any of you answer “the gifts of the Spirit”?

I don’t know about the denominations that you belong to, but I am a minister in the Presbyterian Church.  There are days that I am convinced we don’t want to allow the Holy Spirit into the church, never mind let the people loose to practice those gifts of the Holy Spirit.  What if they do something bold?  What if they dare to speak prophetically?  What if (gasp) they pray in tongues?  Nope much better if we just don’t allow the wild and unpredictable spirit and those powerful gifts loose.

But what would happen if we all got serious before God and started praying about our desire to have more of the Spirit’s gifts?

Paul writes:  Keep on pursuing love, and keep on desiring spiritual gifts, especially the ability to prophesy.  (1 Cor 14: 1)  It seems fairly clear that we are meant to not only have spiritual gifts, but also to DESIRE MORE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS…. I have taught about Spiritual Gifts before, but today was the first time that it ever occurred to me that we need to desire more of the gifts.  God wants us to have more of the gifts.  We should not be content with the few gifts that we have, we should want all of the gifts.  You can never have enough spiritual gifts.

Personally I know that I have a fair amount of spiritual gifts.  I know that I don’t use all of those gifts as fully as I ought.  So today I wonder, what if I adopted my grandson’s attitude when it came to Spiritual gifts?  What if I want more and more, even of what I already have?  What if I want those gifts I don’t already have?  What if I ask God to pour out a full spiritual blessing upon me?  

Hey while I am at it, lets dream big dreams.  What if we all ask God for a greater outpouring of the gifts we already have?  What if we all ask God for the gifts we don’t yet have?  What would the church look like if that were to happen?

Acts 2: 1-4 When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.   …   

38-39Peter said, “Change your life. Turn to God and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, so your sins are forgiven. Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites.”

40He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, “Get out while you can; get out of this sick and stupid culture!”

41-42That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.

Desire more.  Ask for more.  And see what will happen.